Public access to observation levels at the statue's pedestal and… (Mel Evans / Associated Press )
Another birthday, another face-lift. The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor marks its 126th year with the reopening of the inside of the landmark that's been undergoing a $27-million renovation. Public access to observation levels at the statue's pedestal and crown is set to resume Oct. 28.
Tourists will be allowed to enter the monument "on a limited basis while the project moves to completion by the end of the year," David Luchsinger, superintendent of Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, said in a statement Wednesday.
Renovations include a new passenger elevator, new stairs and a wheelchair lift, which means wheelchair visitors now may visit the top of the pedestal to see the inside of the statue. There's still no elevator to the crown.
Visitors have to reserve in advance to climb the more than 350 stairs to the high point. Of the 3.5 million people who see the statue each year, only about 240 a day are allowed to trek to the crown.
It's hard to believe the 305-foot-high statue was the tallest structure in New York City when it was erected in 1886. For those inside the statue on a blustery day, hang on. The National Park Service says the building can sway up to 3 inches in 50 mph winds.
For information on ferry tickets to Liberty Island, tours and reservations, go to Statue of Liberty National Monument's website or call (212) 363-3200.